Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Friendship God's Way


We have been having some internet disturbances off and on,
and it seems like when I have time to write, the connection doesn't work,
but it does work when I do not have time to write, 
so, herein is my apology for a lack of recent posts. 
I have been thinking a great deal though,
and have looked forward to this chance to journal what is on my heart.

  I've been thinking on friendship for weeks now. 
As my husband and I have talked about friendship, we have studied, learned, been convicted,
and are endevoring to become the kind of people who are good at friendship. 
There are several kinds of friendship,
so first off we need to identify what type of relationship we are in.


There are mentoring relationships, like the apostle Paul had with the Romans.
  From a loving heart, two people engage in a deep and rewarding friendship
where one person is training or discipling the other. 
There is teaching and council given, respect and boundaries needed. 
The mentee trusts and relies as they receive from the mentor.


The second kind of friendship we identified is a mutual peer relationship.
  In this relationship, both individuals are giving and receiving encouragement. 
There is deep love and affection.
This relationship is mutually rewarding and refreshing. 
This is a person whom you really connect with and whom there is a kindred understanding.

 The third kind of friendship is an acquaintance friendship,
where two people have common interests and enjoy each others company,
but do not necessarily share the same deep convictions or motivating factors in life.  This person probably does not understand you on a deep level; what you do, why you do it, and when and where you do it.
There may be more types, but this is what we came up with.

Next we listed 5 traits of true christian friends. 
Christian Friends love sacrificially.  John 15:13. 
This means that one may extend friendship to someone
without ever receiving anything back from them,
and that is ok and Biblical. 
Sometimes people need that kind of loving friendship.
  It may be the thing that God uses to deepen their walk with Him and move them on to maturity.

Christian friends trust completely.  Proverbs 18:24 
We must be trustworthy friends.
  We must not gossip behind one another's backs. 
We must stick up for one another.  We must be there when they need us.


Christian friends keep healthy boundaries.  They are not jealous of the other's friends, time,
or level of commitment.  They do not smother. 1 Cor. 13:4
They bear with one another and easily forgive.

Christian friends give mutual edification.  Prov. 27:6  
The idea is to support, exhort, warn, rebuke, hold accountable, 
build each other up and do not do anything that would tear the other down.  
Wow this is the kind of friend I want to be!


Other thoughts my husband and I had as we thought and prayed about friendship are
that we should be aware of our friends likes and dislikes.
  Such as giving a girl friend milk chocolate when she is allergic,
or sending her pink roses when she loves red. 
It requires thoughtfulness.  I think thoughtfulness is born of humility. 
A self centered person might just give without thinking what the other would really like to have.
But a thoughtful friend would remember birthdays and anniversaries.

A good friend should take an interest in the other's children,
be sensitive to needs,
work hard at the friendship, even when distance separates you. 
Expressing what you like about your relationship with another person
and serving in unexpected ways also make for better friendships.

Now, I'm not saying I got this all down. 
I am merely explaining what has been going on in my head and is working itself out in my heart.  
I do want to become a better friend. 
It does take effort, but good friendships are very rewarding.

 I am immensely grateful to wise people who took an interest in me 
and have been good friends to me in a discipling way,
in a sacrificial way,
in a loving way...the way Jesus would love.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Excellent reflections!

This is an area that I too would like to grow in.

Elizabeth-